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A life changing Journey. (1)

It was a sunday morning, the 5th of February, 2017. I was to embark on a trip from Umuahia to Enugu, South-East Nigeria, with my parents and two kids. My mother in her usual vibrant manner, arranged all the bags and food items we needed in her vehicle and urged us to get ready to leave in good time.

She and I had stayed up late the previous night, to pick out clothes, head ties, jewelries and other accesories for the occasion. (You know how ladies love to dress up!). I remember teasing her, when she also picked out a pair of sun glasses ,which she wanted to rock at the event. My mother was an exceptional woman, loving, hardworking, God fearing, passionate and virtuous. She was the pillar of our family and a great woman leader. I looked up to her for almost everything.

Well, we all got into the vehicle and began chatting happily. My two kids were also excited to be travelling with their grand parents, whom they are extremely fond of. The trip from Umuahia to Enugu was to last for less than 3 hours.

We had driven for about 45 minutes on the expressway, when suddenly our vehicle lost control at a bad spot on the road. The vehicle somersaulted into a ditch by the side of the road. By- standers rushed to the scene and helped turn the car over, to enable us get out. I looked around frantically as I got out; my father, two children and the driver came out of the vehicle with a few scratches. “Hope mum is fine”, I wondered, as she was being helped out of the car. She could not stand and was muttering under her breath. I immediately climbed up the ditch, to flag down a vehicle to convey to a nearby clinic. Carrying her on my laps, I prayed fervently as a kind stranger, drove us to the nearest health centre we could find. Unfortunately, she could not be revived. My beloved mother passed away right before my eyes!

Can you imagine the utter shock, grief, disbelief, confusion and intense pain I felt at that moment? It was like my whole world had come crashing down. Shortly after, something unusual began happening to me. I discovered that a strength which was beyond human, a peace that passess understanding, a calmness that could not be explained, suddenly enveloped me.

Most people expected me to totally break down because of the horror I had witnessed.

How could anyone be calm, after being involved in an accident that could have taken their own life; heard the agonising cries of two beloved children as the vehicle somersaulted; saw an aged dad struggle to survive and watched a lovely mother pass away so suddenly???

There was only one explanation…..

“THE COMFORTERS TOUCH”.

Join me next week as I share more about the comforter touch in my life and what he can do in yours also.

Did you recieve the Holy Spirit when you believed?

Acts 19:2,6 :  Did you recieve the Holy Spirit when you believed? he asked them. “No” they replied, we havent even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.

Then when Paul laid his hands on them the Holy Spirit came on them and they spoke in tongues and prophesied. (NLT)

The opening scripture gives an account of Apostle Paul’s encounter with some believers at Ephesus. Note, these were believers in the lord Jesus, yet they knew nothing of the Holy Spirit. Sadly this is the situation of many believers today. Some have heard of him in passing but have never really studied the bible to find out his unique role in their lives. The bible reveals that there are two encounters a believer should have of the Holy Spirit, and they are:

1. The Indwelling of the Holy Spirit : This happens at salvation. When you repent and recieve Jesus Christ into your heart, the Holy spirit comes to dwell in your heart. His indwelling draws you closer to God and helps build your relationship with him. This is cultivated through prayer, study of the word and holy living. He also helps you mortify the deeds of the flesh and you begin to live a Christ – like life. ( Jn 7:38-39, Eph 1:3.)

2. The Outpouring / Baptism of the Holy Spirit: After you receive the indwelling of the Holy Spirit at salvation, there is also an experience called the baptism of the Holy Spirit. This is an outpouring of the power of the Holy Spirit upon you that enables you to manifest supernational signs and wonders. In Acts 1:8 the disciples were instructed to wait for this outpouring of power. Our opening verse is another example. Those men could only believe in Jesus because of the conviction of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinth 12:3). He dwelth in them after they believed, though they did not know him. However when Paul laid hands on them in Acts 19: 6 they received the baptism of the Holy Spirit, resulting in speaking of tongues and prophesying. One evidence that you have received the baptism of the Holy spirit is speaking in tongues.

How can I receive the indwelling and baptism of the Holy Spirit?

1. The first and most important step is that you repent of your sins and accept Jesus Christ as your Lord. Accept him into your heart and confess with your mouth that he is your Lord. To complete this step please take a moment to say the prayer below from your heart.

HEAVENLY FATHER,I ACKNOWLEDGE, THAT I AM A SINNER. I BELIEVE IN MY HEART THAT JESUS CHRIST IS THE SON OF GOD AND THAT HE DIED FOR MY SINS. I BELIEVE THAT YOU RAISED HIM FROM THE DEAD, FOR MY JUSTIFICATION. LORD JESUS, COME INTO MY HEART NOW. I RECEIVE YOU TODAY AS MY PERSONAL LORD AND SAVIOUR .THANK YOU LORD ,I AM NOW BORN AGAIN. AMEN!

Congratulations!! If you have just said that prayer sincerely, you are now born again and have received the indwelling of the Holy spirit. Please join a bible believing church and get a bible to study and grow your faith. If you would like me to pray for you, please drop a line in the comment section below.

2. Prayerfuly ask the Holy Spirit to baptize you. When you do, you may find that you have the urge to utter some words. Just let loose and speak out whatever comes to you at the time. It may sound like you’re babbling at first but never mind, you are now praying in the spirit. It may not sound perfect in the begining but as you continue, it will get better.

3. If you are unable to do step 2 above, have a mature believer lay hands on you and pray for the Holy Ghost baptism.

Rev. Oyiks Alfred, a wonderful woman of God, whom I listen to often shared the following tips on having a rich fellowship with the Comforter.

1. You must be willing to obey his instructions. Some of them may not make sense to you but you must yield unconditionally. You will have no regrets in the end.

2. Learn to acknowledge his presence. Do not ignore him but regularly communicate with him throughout the day.

3. You must do things Gods way. Your life style, choices and actions must conform to the word of God.

4. Be a worshipper. Learn to worship and praise God in prayer,songs and dance. The atmosphere of praise and worship releases the power of the Holy Spirit.

5. Learn to ask for help. As powerful as the Holy spirit is, he never forces himself on you. If you need help in any area just prayerfully ask him to help you.

You can listen to more of Rev Oyiks Alfreds messages in http://www.mspdevotion.org.

I hope you found this helpful. I will also be sharing a very important topic in my next article.

Stay connected, God bless you.

 

10 THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT THE COMFORTER (HOLY GHOST).

John 14:26 – ” But the Comforter which is the Holy ghost, whom the father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring all things to your remembrance,whatsoever I have said unto you”.(KJV)

Most people know little or nothing about the incredible person of the Holy Spirit of God; yet the bible teaches that his role in the life of believers is invaluable.

Here are ten things the bible tells us about him:

1. He is the third person of the Trinity.

Mathew 28:19 – ” Go ye therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost.(KJV)

Contrary to popular belief, the Holy spirit is not a dove, wind, light or fire. He is a personality. He speaks, moves, relates and can also be grieved.( Ephesians 4:30, 1 Tim 4:1). He was there at the begining of creation (Gen1:2) and throughout scriptures, his power and influence have shaped what we know as Christianity today. When a person surrenders his life to Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit begins to dwell in him. He is the member of the trinity presently here on earth with us.

2. He is a Helper.

John16:7 – “Nevertheless I tell you the truth, it is expedient for you that I go away, for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.”

It is IMPOSSIBLE to have a succesful christian life without the help of the Holy spirit. Jesus knew how crucial his presence was to believers, hence he said it was necessary that he left to make way for the Holy Spirit. All the great works Jesus did were by the power of the Holy spirit.

The first and most important role of the Holy Spirit is to prepare us for that crucial moment when we stand before God on judgement day. It is only through the Holy spirit that the works of the flesh are mortified (Rom 8:13). It is difficult to resist our fleshly lusts and passions with merely our will and power; thus the bible admonishes us to walk in the Spirit so as not to fulfill the desires of the flesh. The world is filled with evil and the devil is constantly trying to pull us off track, only by the help of the Holy spirit can we be guaranteed victory.

3. He is a Teacher.

John 14:26 – ” But the Comforter which is the Holy Ghost, whom the father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring all things to your remembrance,whatsoever I have said unto you”(KJV)

Many struggle to study or understand the bible. For some, it is mere fiction or a history book. The truth is, the bible is a spiritual book and can only be understood indepth, when the Holy spirit opens your understanding. Luke 24:25 states ” Then opened he their understanding that they might understand the scrptures”. This verse clearly reveals that except a persons understanding is opened, he will be unable to get any revelation from the bible. He will merely read the stories but it will have no impact in his life ( Math13:11).

Beyond the scriptures, the Holy Spirit also teaches us what to do in confusing situations. We are faced with difficult choices daily. Sometimes what seems right may be destructive in the end. We can therefore rely on the Holy spirit to teach us what to do. Futhermore he also teaches us what to say. The Devil wants you to make decisions or say things that may destroy you. Our words are very important, and many have been ensnared by their utterances. The Holy spirit is always available to teach us what to say. ( Mark 13:11).

4. He Intercedes for us.

Romans 8:26 ” Likewise the Spirit helpeth our infirmities, for we know not what we should pray for as we ought; but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered”(KJV).

A lot of people struggle to pray consistently and when they do, may not pray according to the will of God. Prayer is crucial in maintaining fellowship with God and victory over the enemy. The Holy Spirit therefore intercedes for us and strengthens us to pray according to the will of God. You can ask the Holy spirit to help you build a vibrant and consistent prayer life today.

5. He is a Seal upon all believers.

Ephesians 1:13 – ” In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also afte ye believed, ye were sealed with the Holy spirit of promise”(KJV).

The bible declares that if any man does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his (Rom8:9). The Holy spirit is received when you confess Jesus Christ as Lord and saviour. He dwells in you as a guarantee or mark that you belong to christ.

In the corporate world, seals are placed on items to show they are official and have the authority of top management. In the same way God seals us with his Spirit to indicate that we belong to him and have his approval.

6. He is a Comforter.

John 14:16 -” And I will pray the father,and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever.(KJV)

We live in an imperfect world thus we will inevitably experience pain, suffering and difficult situations. The goodnews however is that Jesus promised not to leave us comfortless. The Holy spirit sees your heart and can bring comfort like no one else can. He listens, understands and deeply cares about our pain and suffering. I have personally experienced his amazing touch after I lost my dear mother. ( See my previous post for full story).

If you open your heart to him he can heal you and turn that ugly situation to a testimony.

7. He reveals the future.

John 16:12-13 -“I have many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear it now. Howbeit when the Spirit of truth is come, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own but will tell you what he has heard. He will tell you about the future (NLT).

As intelligent as humans are, our knowledge is extremely limited. Many are uncertain and apprehensive of the future. The Holy Spirit however knows the end from the begining. By the Holy spirit, prophets of old revealed the birth, crucifixion and resurrection of christ decades before he was born. The bible also foretells the future of mankind and earth.

We can ask the Holyspirit to reveal secrets to us, especially regarding mysterious occurences in our lives.

8. He empowers believers for signs and wonders.

Acts 1:8 “But ye shall receive power after that the Holy ghost is come upon you and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem and in Judea and in Samaria and unto the uttermost part of the earth”(KJV).

120 men who were mostly uneducated, caught a vision and ran with it; such that it swept through the entire earth, changing lives. These were the disciples of Jesus that met with the Holy ghost at the upper room in Jerusalem. Anything the Holy ghost comes in contact with does not remain normal. It functions at a speed and power that is beyond human. Believers who have encountered him, now have supernatural powers for miracles, signs and wonders.

9. He is our business partner.

Exodus 31:2- ” See I have called Bezaleel son of Uri, the son of Hur of the tribe of Judah; and I have filled him with the spirit of God, in wisdom and in knowledge and in all manner of workmanship, to devise cunning works, to work in gold and in silver and in brass.

Many assume that the Holy spirit is only needed for spiritual activities. However the scripture above reveals that the Holy ghost can annoint you to do your regular job excellently. Your work, designs or business can have a special touch, with his help. Important business decisions such as mergers, acquisition, partnerships etc can be highly profitable if done under the guidance of the Holy spirit.

10. He brings the dead to life.

Romans 8:11 – ” But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwells in you; he that raised up christ from the dead, shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.(KJV)

If the Holy Spirit could raise Jesus back to life after three days, most certainly he can give life to any dead thing in your life. Be it a dead marriage, career, health, business, prayer life etc. Some people with multifunctional smart phones only use it to make and receive calls, whereas there are tonnes of things that can be done with their devices, without struggle. Most believers behave this way with the Holy spirit.

It is amazing that we have such a powerful person with us always and yet we ignore him. I hope this article helps you to appreciate the Holy Spirit and deepen your understanding of his unique role in your life.

In my next article I will be sharing some tips on how to walk with the Spirit, as taught by Rev. Oyiks Alfred, a great woman of God, whose teaching has been a blessing to me.

 

 

 

A life changing Journey. (2)

The death of a loved one is usualy quite painful especially when it happens unexpectedly. My mother’s life ended abruptly so, I never got the chance to hear any last wishes or say goodbye.  We were right in the middle of an interesting conversation when the accident occured and this made the entire experience rather traumatic. (See part 1 for details). As I reflect on the journey that changed my life and family completely, it is amazing the inner strength and peace, the Comforter has given us.

Undoubtedly, I felt the deep grief, despair, confusion and hopelesssness that comes with loss but the Comforter ensured that I was not utterly overwhelmed and consumed by it. There are still days when I wake up sad and gloomy because I miss my mother so much but I have learnt, that I am never alone.

You are probably wondering who the “Comforter” is. He is – THE HOLY SPIRIT OF GOD.                                                          Being a christian, I have read about the Holy spirit from the bible and listened to some teachings about his role in the life of a believer. The book of John 14:16 declares: I will pray the father and he shall give you another COMFORTER, that he may abide with you forever.

I however deeply experienced his role as a comforter, after my mother’s demise. It was through this experience, that I understood the word of God in Isiah 43:2 which says: When thou passeth through the waters I will be with thee;and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee; when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.

God never promised us a storm free life! We will go through waters, through floods, through fires but he promises to be with us through it all.

For some, their storm may be the loss of a loved one, a job, a relationship, abuse, poverty etc. However if it is submitted to the Lord, he will turn it around for good.

My personal experience confirms that it is indeed possible to receive comfort from the Holy spirit and recover from the most traumatic and difficult events. In subsequent posts, I will be sharing some ways a person can prepare to receive comfort from the Holy Spirit. First, we must find out from the bible, who the Holy spirit is; for how can we receive comfort from a person we know nothing about?

Join me next week as we get to know more about the Comforter.